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Usually when you hear free activity, right away you may think capital B — for Boring.
This is never the case when I visit New York City and go to a free event.
There’s more exciting things to do during the week!
Maybe you never thought about making a Wednesday night a focus.
It may sound different.
I get it, but . . .
Why Free Midweek Activities Can Be Just What the Budget Doctor Ordered
Before you get the lowdown, you’ll need to ask yourself:
What’s the point of this?
This is key to keep in mind because when you get tempted to splurge for the wrong reasons, you can remind yourself of why you are actively seeking out free activities. Remember free can be fun.
Benjamin Franklin once said:
An investment in knowledge pays the best return.
In an effort to get you pumped up to save and to get you knowledgeable about free fun in New York, I’m giving the idea of free a turbo charge of excitement with my tips to save you money and have real fun.
So let’s say you spend a $100 each week on leisure activities. Instead of spending 400 dollars a month, choose free activities and put that money away. If you saved that 400 every month. You would have $4,800 in a year’s time. So instead of spending 100 dollars every week, spend ten or so per weekend. It sounds so dramatic, but it’s not. You can now put that money away for a long-term goal.
Save for the life you truly envision. Whether it’s for retirement, digging yourself out of debt, a dream vacation or all of the above, have fun during the week for free. Besides, life is too short to just have fun on the weekend. That’s why you feel so much pressure to spend and go over the top.
How to Have Fun in New York for Free With These Tips
So I’ll get off my pedestal and get on with the ideas already. Get two landmarks in one shot.
1.Park yourself at this park.
Bryant Park is the place to be for free fun. It’s located between Sixth and Fifth Avenues and between 40th and 42 Streets. Catch summer film festivals, take in local music with After Work Music and tons of other activities that go on in the park. Follow the park on Facebook and Twitter @BryantParkNYC to get updates and more details on current events throughout the year.
There is a Bryant Park Grill and Cafe if you opt to eat there. The ‘Wichcraft stands have reasonably priced sandwiches. I had a panini there once for under 10 dollars. The portion size was decent. You can even split one. If you go with young children, definitely look into getting a carousel ride at the park. It’s $3 per ride. Adults accompanying children that are too small to ride alone can ride for free. It’s a great place to relax and actually find some shade and watch people playing chess and backgammon too.
2. Get artsy at the famous library.
I happen to love libraries. Today it’s harder and harder to find quiet ones. This actually exists at the New York Library. Located on 5th Ave and 42nd Street in Manhattan. It’s within walking distance from Grand Central Station.
Who knew it was the second largest library in the United States? You’ll find people meandering through the marble building looking at paintings while others are doing what most people do at a library — studying and reading. Take in the amazing architectural details throughout this 100 year old plus historic landmark. The coffered ceilings in the Rose Reading Room are the main attraction in this building. If you’ve been walking around all day, it’s a great place to relax and catch your breathe a bit. Parent tip: It’s good spot point for kids or adults who need bathroom breaks before you’re back to the hustle and bustle of the busy streets or park.
I found it equally enjoyable to eat my lunch and people watch sandwiched between the famous twin lions in front of the library that greet you at the entrance. There are folding chairs and small circular metal tables where you can sit. On Mondays from 12-4 PM and Tuesday through Friday from 12-6 through Sept., visit the Art Cart. Kids and adults are both welcome to express their inner Picasso with free art supplies. Many sessions are topic driven throughout the summer. Get more details here.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking to cut back on spending, you can still have enjoyable entertainment. Don’t limit yourself to just doing leisure activities on the weekend especially in the summer. Seek out enjoyable activities during the week to double your fun and increase your savings.